Ribbons of the Sun      

ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year -
                                                       Gold 2006 - Young Adult Fiction 
International Latino Book Awards 2007
                                                     - Best Young Adult Fiction, English
Independent Publishers Book Award 2007 

                                                    - Young Adult Multi-Cultural Fiction - Silver

List price:
Format: Paperback 
Publisher: Brown Barn Books

by Harriet Hamilton  

    In my village we grow flowers. Big, strong, beautiful flowers. Carnations, roses, calla lilies, daisies – all kinds of flowers. When their buds start to open and they are the most beautiful, we take them to Santa María del Sol and sell them in the marketplace. My mother always told me I was her special flower, a gift from la Virgen. That’s why she named me Rosa.

     Twelve-year-old Rosa begs to go with her father to the city to sell flowers, and when that day finally comes, she can barely contain her excitement.
     But her joy turns to despair when she realizes the real reason for her trip to the city--her impoverished family has been forced to sell her into service as a maid.
     Assaulted and humiliated by the patron, she is thrown out on the hostile city streets to fend for herself. Alone and without hope, her beliefs shattered, Rosa learns to survive and triumph in this emotionally violent but deeply spiritual coming of age story.
     A story that will linger in your memory for years.   

What Reviewers
are Saying About this Book

     Rosa is 12 when her father takes her from their village in southern Mexico and sells her services to a wealthy household in a provincial city. There, Rosa not only faces a critical, demanding mistress but also sexual abuse from the head of the house. Eventually pregnant, the young girl is thrown into the street to fend for herself. Rosa's story is a composite of true stories of young Indian girls that were reported to the author, a journalist and filmmaker who lived for many years in Mexico. Published posthumously, the novel is Hamilton's attempt to bring the plight of these exploited young people to the world's attention. Hamilton depicts Rosa's indomitable spirit as she eventually reaches into the depths of her spiritual background to recognize her own self-worth. While the story of child exploitation has been told before in other novels, the narrative's simplicity and lack of graphic sexual detail make the book an excellent choice for YA as well as adult fiction collections.
                                                                              -Library Journal, October 2006

Cultural details are smoothly woven into the story. At times lyrical, the writing depicts social problems frankly, without sensationalizing or oversimplifying. Based on fact, this compelling story brings attention to issues of child exploitation and abuse and fosters a deeper understanding of the dilemmas faced by many young people across the globe.
                                                                               -School Library Journal, November, 2006


About the Author

Harriet Hamilton was a journalist, a writer, director and producer of prize-winning radio and television programs, and a teacher. She went to school in the United States, Paris, Frankfurt and Mexico and lived in Mexico for fifteen years. While she was there, she became aware of the abuse of children there and throughout the world and became interested in the groups who are helping to end that abuse. She considered herself a messenger to bring this problem to the attention of as many people as possible.

     Ribbons of the Sun is her message.

     Ribbons of the Sun was published posthumously. Harriet Hamilton died in January 2006, before its publication, although the manuscript was complete in every detail. We publish with gratitude for her message and with pleasure for her graceful and moving story of Rosa's life.    

To those children of Mexico,
too many of whose lives are symbolized
by the fictional children of this book.
May they find their way home.
                                                                                        -Harriet Hamilton